Website Design Scams are prevalent on the internet these days. The one thing they all have in common is that they want your money. Website design scams are extremely common place and chances are you have come across a few of these yourself.
1 Who owns your website – well you do of course. Not so fast. There are those designers who offer to buy your domain name for you. Then when you want to have access to it, they charge you a high fee or when it comes time to renew it, they charge you to buy it from them. Always, always, always buy your own domain name! This way when you want to change designers, you have control and access to your domain.
2 Random Email – We are sure you have received a few of these where they claim to have come across your website and found problems with it. Sometimes they claim to do a keyword search and a social media analysis that shows how poorly your site is supposedly performing. These people did not do any analysis of your site and just send out these emails to try and catch business owners who will buy into what they are selling. Some of these companies will never deliver on what they promise.
3 E-Commerce Profit Promise – this one is a gem. They sell you a lost cost site and then you get bombarded with calls that you need a better costlier site to make money. What this lost cost site business did was sell your information to other so-called web businesses and then they take full advantage of you. They will tell you how by going with them, you can make $10k a year or quote you some other outlandish amount of money. What will they charge you for improving your website? It could anywhere from $3k to 15K and they may even tag on other fees for other needed services.
4 Hit and Run – This designer makes all sorts of promises and collects your down payment or in some cases the paid in full amount. What do they deliver? Nothing! They take your money and then run. You never hear from them again. The sad part of this type of scam is that appear to be legit. They may even have examples on their site. Do some homework and check those sites and see if they were truly designed by the company you want to hire. You may want to email the site owners and ask them for a reference as well.
5 Where is my pretty website – This designer promises you a site with all the bells and whistles and then delivers a basic design. You may have even bought the theme you wanted but what they deliver is nothing like what you bought. It could be due to a breakdown in communication, so you should always try to get them to fix it first. You should always be sure to get everything in writing and be sure that you purchase the themes and plugin’s yourself.
6 Hostile Takeover – this is special type of scammer. You already have a site but hire a designer to make changes. You give them access and what do they do? They take over your site, lock you out, put malware on it, spam links and other assorted atrocities.
7 Ranking #1 on Google – this perhaps is the most common one. They will promise that they will get you to rank #1 on Google and charge large sums of money to do so. Then when you check you are still not even found. There is the right way to do SEO and a wrong way to do SEO. It takes months to get SEO to work and rank you on Google. It all depends on the keywords you are using and the competition for these keywords. There are many moving parts to good SEO. They have to be done correctly and if they are taking short cuts to get you there, chances are they not doing it the correct way and use techniques Google does not like.
How to Avoid Website design Scams
How do you avoid these website design scams? It really boils done to finding someone you trust. You are trusting them with your business, reputation and website. You should always maintain control of your site. You own the domain, themes, plugins etc. Get everything in writing. Do not do business with a company that you have never heard of or in some cases may not even have a business name. Remember if it is too good to be true it probably is. Anybody can make claims, ask them for proof. If they are legit, they will be able to prove it.